Funding & Grants
All of us are aware of the financial challenges that teachers encounter when trying to implement new programs, improve current curricula or purchase new equipment. And we all understand how these obstacles can have a significant impact on the quality of the education. However, there are many opportunities for you to generate funds for your class and your schools.
Whether we are in a healthy economy or not, money is always available - you just have to know where to look. Many funding and grant resources exist through your school district, community and state and federal governments. Of course the easiest place to start is with your school and district, and then you can move on from there.
Polar wants to help give you a running start by providing you with a basic direction on where to find funding, who to speak to and how to develop your program so that it qualifies for financial support. Just follow these three steps:
Review the funding quick tips for ideas on where to get money for your program. Funding can come from something as simple as bake sales to the more complicated federal grants. The word "grant" just means how money gets distributed.
The key here is how much money do you need. Explore the funding resources to find different types of grant programs and the parameters related to each. Then decide the funding program that best fits your school's needs.
If your needs are on a smaller scale you may want to choose to go with fundraisers or approach local business. It may be best to work with your PTA to plan those efforts. Also, don't forget your school's technology budget (refer to the sample of a technology committee request). If you have a significant program to fund, it may be best to choose a grant program as there is $350 billion available to non-profit organizations and municipalities every year.
Once you have chosen a grant program, get an understanding of its application and program requirements. Then write your proposal by using the techniques found in developing a grant proposal.
To give you a head start on preparing your applications we have included specific grant examples of successful proposals submitted by your peers. Review them for ideas on how to fill out your application. We have also provided some other examples of how two other schools justified the need for new equipment.